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What Kind of Dog Is Doge? The Interesting Answer!

Chelsie Fraser

By Chelsie Fraser

Kabosu (Doge)

If you’re active online at all, you’ve likely seen a Doge meme. It began circulating in 2013 and typically consists of a dog surrounded by multicolored text representing internal dog dialogue. “Doge” is actually a Shiba Inu named Kabosu. Her widely popular meme has inspired several cryptocurrencies worth over $70 billion, and she even has a personal Instagram account. The dog herself turned 16 in November 2021.

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Kabosu’s Rise to Fame

Kabosu, the rescue dog, was adopted in 2008 by a Japanese kindergarten teacher. She began her rise to fame in 2010 when her owner included several pictures of the Shiba Inu in a blog post. The pictures took on a life of their own, leading to the doge memes that we’re now so familiar with.

Three years later, two software engineers decided to satirize the meme by creating a digital currency named Dogecoin. This became a meme of its own and spawned an entire line of cryptocurrencies that are now referred to as “meme coins.”

While Kabosu is the most famous of them all, she’s not the only dog featured in doge memes.

Doge - Kabosu
Image Credit: Kabosu The Shiba Inu, photograph by Atsuko Sato. All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

Other Dogs in Doge Memes

  • Suki is a female Shiba Inu, owned by photographer Jonathan Fleming from San Francisco. Suki was photographed wearing a scarf on a cold day in February 2010.
  • Cheems is based on Balltze, a dog from Hong Kong
  • Walter is actually Nelson the Bull Terrier, who became popular in a 2018 photo.

Doge Depictions

While the term “Doge” has gained a life of its own based on a misspelled word and a cute dog picture, the meme has gained traction throughout pop culture.

In 2014, Doge was featured in a transportation company’s ad campaign in Stockholm, Sweden. It featured Doge holding a public transport ticket in her mouth with phrases like “such cheap” and “many summer.”

  • Google made a Doge Easter Egg.
  • When the Doge meme is entered into a YouTube search bar, the site’s text is displayed in colored Comic Sans font, just like the meme.
  • Doge Weather is an app that reports the weather and incorporates the meme.
  • Mozilla had the meme incorporated into their project Servo logo from May 2016 to February 2020.
  • “Weird Al” Yankovic wrote a song called “Word Crimes” that references the bad grammar in the meme.
  • The video game The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes includes a meme reference in the 2015 North American version.
  • Doge was added to Dictionary.com in November 2015

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While Doge may have started as a blog photograph with a spelling error, it has taken on a life of its own. If you’ve been wondering who the dog in the memes is, they’re a Shiba Inu named Kabosu. The dog is named after a Japanese fruit, and despite many rumors to the contrary, is alive and well at 16 with her owner in Japan.

Featured Image Credit:  Kabosu The Shiba Inu,  photograph  by  Atsuko Sato.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

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